b"early days was more of a gathering place than any of the saloons. Mail came in twiceaday.Kids,includingmyself, were there to meet it, and we waited until Charlie or his clerk, Jim Gavin, had sorted it.There usually wasnt a great deal, but it was a good excuse for the gathering of the clan. In those days, we wrote letters tell-ing far away folks about the people in our small villages. When we received aletter,wenarratedthenewsfrom afartothefamilyceremoniouslyor Marcus De Lafayette Ball owned Marcuswe stole away and read it sacredly in Ball's Tavern where Spiotta Park is today.private.Octogenarianandlong-time Photo from Biographical and Genealogi-cal History of the City of Newark and Essex County, NJ.Local resident Michael Lally identified this interior to be the Marcus Ball Tavern. Michaelfamilys Clinton Valley General Store worked in his dad's shop, a fixit store called The Little Jobber, which was located there until it was torn down in the late 1960s.(on Valley Street, near todays Town Hall),thenatHarryBakersGen-Office,wheretheywouldvisitwithdebaucherous menu items of a saloon. eral Store (Baker Street) and Charlie each other and even play cards. As if aUntil the turn of the 20th century,StewartsGeneralStore(Springfield card game werent damnation enough,Maplewoods mail would be droppedAvenue). it then moved across the street to Mar- off at its local general store (which wasIn Maplewood, Past and Present by cus Balls Tavern (where Spiotta Park isnot designated as an official post office)Helen B. Bates, G. Clifford Jones, who today), although in this period the localand relayed by neighbors to and fromgrew up in Maplewood, describes Stew-tavernofferedsustenance,drink,andSouth Oranges Post Office. The firstarts as heated by the largest pot-belliedMaplewood Postmaster Robynn Burns is a lodging and not necessarily the morelocations were nestled into the Crowellstove I had ever seenThat store in the23-year veteran of the Post Office.VIRT U ALDAYCA MPJUNE 22 TO AUGUST 7, 2020GRADES: PRE-K TO 8OUTDO O R DAYC A MPJULY 6 TO AUGUST 7, 2020GRADES: 1-8AC ADE MIC PRE PJUNE TO AUGUSTGRADES: K, 6-12Summit, NJ OUTDOORS There's Something for Everyonewww.oakknoll.org/summer this Summer at Oak Knoll!feature story /27"